Towards mid-1965, I was nearing the end of my second year as a deck cadet with the Blue Star Line and by which time had served aboard four of the Company’s ships, traversing the globe to countries and ports in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

On frequent occasions the opportunity to steer the ship had been taken, but invariably for relatively short periods. On a whim on the part of the O.O.W. rather than as a formal part of any training syllabus, when either sharing a watch, or perhaps, more likely when either scrubbing out, polishing brass or cleaning the windows in the wheelhouse on the instructions of the mate, I would be offered a ‘trick’. On each such occasion, the autopilot would be disengaged when I would be given the course to steer, duly repeated by me and told “She’s all yours”.

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